(EnergyAsia, September 28 2012, Friday) — From next January, Qatargas, the world’s leading liquefied natural gas (LNG) producer, will supply Japanese utility Kansai Electric Power Co (KEPCO) 500,000 tonnes of the fuel a year for 15 years.

In separate statements, the two companies announced the conclusion of the new agreement to add to an existing contract for 290,000 tonnes/year for 23 years from 1999 to 2021.

This is the first agreement signed between subsidiary Qatargas 3 and Japan’s second largest utility.

The contract was signed in Doha by Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada, Qatar’s Minister of Energy and Industry and chairman of Qatargas 3, and Yoichi Mukae, KEPCO’s executive director.

Khalid Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Qatargas CEO, said:

“We have achieved a significant milestone in our excellent partnership with KEPCO, which started in 1994 when we signed an agreement with a consortium of Japanese buyers including KEPCO. This agreement is further testimony of our long-term commitment to Japan and reinforces Qatargas’ global reputation as a safe and reliable supplier of LNG. We remain committed to supporting Japan’s continuous requirement for stable energy supplies.”

Mr Mukae said:

“In this memorable year of the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relationship between the state of Qatar and Japan, we are pleased to execute the new contract with Qatargas, the world’s largest LNG supplier. We strongly expect this agreement to reinforce the partnership between Qatargas and Kansai Electric and to lead to our stable LNG procurement.”

In June this year, Qatargas 1 executed a similar long-term deal with Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).